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Labour promises Regional Ministers to rebalance economy
Posted by Tom Keighley on 09 Apr 2014
Labour MP Michael Dugher has promised Labour would introduce Regional Ministers to represent their areas in Whitehall and draw together LEPs, local authorities and central government.
Ed Miliband himself confirmed that local authorities would have a share in a £20 billion pot for housing, infrastructure and job creation, under a Labour government.
To administer the set-up Labour would set up a Regional Committee sitting in the Cabinet Office, made up of all Regional Ministers and Chaired by the Minister for the Cabinet Office to monitor local and regional policy outcomes.
Michael Dugher said: "Our belief is that regional growth demands sub-regional initiatives, co-ordinated and driven forward at regional level.
"Labour is pledging to introduce Regional Ministers to put the voice of the English regions at the heart of Labour decision-making. They will help to shape policy around local and regional interests with a view to correcting the regional inequalities that have arisen under the Tories.
"Regional Ministers would not be a replica of what came before, but rather would be complementary to our agenda to devolve more power to city-regions.
"Regional Ministers would bring together central government, business and local authorities, advise Ministers on the impact of government policy in the regions and promote inward investment."
Ministers would be appointed for London; the South East; South West; West Midlands; North East; North West; Yorkshire and Humber; East Midlands and the Eastern region.
Each city or area would have to form Combined Authorities or ‘Economic Prosperity Boards’ in order to qualify for the funding and the devolved powers.